Chapter 1: 21st century physical education in the United States: Introduction to the special issue

Phillip Ward, Hans van der Mars, Hal A. Lawson, Murray F. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we examine the system of physical education with a Janus-like perspective. We focus on examining and learning from the past as we anticipate what society, school systems, and the physical education system might look like in the future. Drawing on futuristic scenarios developed for this special journal issue, we ask a timely, pivotal question. What does all of this mean for the future of the field of physical education, including its school programs, teacher education programs, doctoral programs, and salient public policies? The several chapters in this special issue can be viewed as a response to this question—and with a delimited focus on the unique context of the United States. This chapter is structured to provide an overall context for these other contributions. It includes a discussion of relevant theories provided in this special issue and a representative summary of the other articles. Selectivity is apparent and unavoidable in every article, and it can be viewed variously as a strength or limitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-352
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Future forecasting
  • Higher education
  • Neoliberalism
  • Schools
  • System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Education


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